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Neighbors Take the Bus

The Fall 2016 Semester of the American Studies Program—our 40th anniversary semester—is off and running!

One of the first things ASP students do upon their arrival in DC is participate in what we call a “Bus Day.”  Bus Days organize students into small groups and an Instagram photo scavenger hunt contest sends them off to discover the less-explored features and history of different DC neighborhoods.

The central purpose of this exercise is neighborhood engagement.  ASP students are not tourists; we are residents and we want them to be a part of the neighborhood.  The exercise allows students to personally interact with the Washingtonians living and working in these neighborhoods: visit the corner grocery store; interact with parents in the park; speak with the security guard at the bank; and eat at the family-owned restaurant.  The lessons learned from these exercises stick with you, informing our growing understanding of the importance of “place” to one’s sense of calling and responsibility.

This semester, for their first Bus Day, our students were tasked to visit all four quadrants of the city—Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest.  This included visits to the Brookland, U Street, Navy Yard, and Anacostia neighborhoods, among many others.  See below for some of our favorite photos!

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Hosanna Unom (Gordon College) taught her bus group how to eat with their hands at an Eritrean restaurant in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.

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(Left to Right) Abby Morris (Milligan College), Anna-Monet Hartman (Northwest University), and Shea Fordham (Vanguard University) check out an expressive mural on Georgia Avenue.

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(Left to Right) Derek Ross (Simpson University), Shannon Hogan (Oral Roberts University), and Derrick Adams (The King’s University) take a rest at Suns Cinema in Mount Pleasant.

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(Front to Back) Abigail Nyberg (Whitworth University), Arilda Lleshi (LCC International University), Wesley Duncan (Oklahoma Christian University), and Jeremiah McCoy (Messiah College) explore the Anacostia neighborhood.

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(Left to Right) Ethan Peterson (Bethel University), Danielle Harrington (Vanguard University), Jake Hemme (Biola University), and Jessie McBirney (Biola University) stop for a pose at The George Washington University in Foggy Bottom.

Follow all of the Bus Day fun on Instagram by searching for #ASPtakesDCfa16!  And stay tuned for more blog posts to come!

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